All year we’ve heard the debate over who will be the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year.
Until recently, it’s been one of two guys: RGIII or Andrew Luck. But with Seattle Seahawks’ QB Russell Wilson now joining the discussion, you’ve got to take a very in-depth look into each of their seasons to determine who’s really the most deserving.
First, let’s look at the top-line stats through the first 16 weeks:
- Andrew luck has 21 passing touchdowns, 18 interceptions, and 5 rushing touchdowns.
- RG3 has 20 passing touchdowns, 6 on the ground, and only 5 interceptions.
- Russell Wilson has thrown for an impressive 25 touchdowns through the air, 3 on the ground, all while throwing 10 picks.
From those stats alone, which do indeed matter, I’d say Andrew Luck has put himself at a huge disadvantage by throwing for almost 4x as many interceptions as RG3 and nearly twice as many as Wilson.
Luck also trails in the completion percentage department, with his 54.3% trailing RG3’s 66.4% and Wilson’s 63.4% by a wide margin. To be fair, Luck was given the worst running game out of the three, so he’s had to throw the ball a lot more (599 times to Griffin and Wilson’s 374.5). Still, the margins are pretty steep.
After seeing those numbers, it’d be easy to say that RG3 and Wilson are in a dead heat for the award. But when you look at how they’ve performed week-to-week, you realize that Wilson didn’t start playing well with any consistency until about week 9, as he really only had 2 or 3 noticeably good games before that point.
Now don’t get me wrong…you can’t underestimate how big Wilson has been for his team of late, as Seattle has rattled off wins in 6 of their last 7 games behind their rookie QB’s emergence. But Luck’s Colts have won 8 of their last 10 and RG3’s Redskins are riding a 5-game winning streak … so they’re all pretty even in that regard.
So for me, it comes down to one cliche term: their overall body of work. And here is where I unfortunately have to eliminate Andrew Luck from contention for the award.
Luck’s QBR (out of 100) this year is 64.6, while RG3’s is 71.1 and Russell Wilson’s is 70.0. Also, Luck’s passer rating is down at 75.6 while Griffin’s is 104.1 and Wilson’s is 98.0. I think the passer rating is a good statistic to go off of in this instance because each of them have been able to compile decent numbers running, as opposed to one being well behind the others in that category.
I’m as big of an Andrew Luck fan as there is (outside of Indianapolis), and even with his record-setting 4,183 yards so far through the air (a rookie record), it’s just not enough for me to say he’s one of the top two candidates for the award. Even with all of those yards piled up on his stat sheet, he’s still only averaged 6.98 yards per pass attempt – less than RG3’s 8.27 and Russell Wilson’s 7.67.
Luck could easily end up being the most reliable, consistent, and all-around best QB of the three long term, but for now it’s either Robert Griffin III or Russell Wilson’s award.
So, back to the question of the hour – who is this year’s Offensive ROY?
Going back to Griffin and Wilson’s overall body of work, it’s clear to me who has the best overall season by the numbers: Robert Griffin III.
RG3 leads Wilson in just about every statistical category (besides passing TD), including QBR, passer rating, completion %, interceptions, yards in the air, and yards on the ground (both QB’s have been labeled “running threats”).
He’s also on a much worse team overall, as the Redskins have what many believe to be the worst defense in the NFL, while the Seahawks were already a solid team that most saw to be missing only a quarterback.
As previously mentioned, Wilson struggled with consistency for quite some time, whereas RG3 has been extraordinarily reliable dating all the way back to week 1.
If you take their worst 3 games based on passer rating (the anomalies, if you will), RG3’s average is a 76.63 while Wilson’s is all the way down at a 49. In other words, RG3’s “bad” has been much, much better than Wilson’s bad.
So yes, the flashy, fun, humble, and unpredictable Robert Griffin III is indeed my NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
It’s rare that guys as impressive as Andrew Luck or Russell Wilson don’t win the award, but that just speaks volumes to how consistent and impressive RG3 has been all year long. He’s put together a phenomenal body of work, racking up tons of impressive statistics all while taking care of the ball as well as some of the NFL’s best veterans do.
As exhilarating as it’s been watching RG3 all year, just imagine what he’ll be able to do with experience under his belt, a competent defense supporting him, a veteran running game at his disposal, and a healthy receiving corps.
And lucky us, we could very well get to watch each of these 3 QB’s in the playoffs.